Monday, August 15, 2016

The Real Twin Peaks: Welcome!

When Showtime announced a new season of the David Lynch/Mark Frost-helmed TV show "Twin Peaks" more than 25 years after its last, I'm pretty sure I squealed like a little schoolgirl. This has always been my favorite show of all time, and I'd always wanted to visit the various real-world locations used in the pilot and throughout the series. If you've never seen it before, do both me and yourself a favor and check it out on Netflix, because the next ten or so posts here are all going to be about it.

The interesting thing about Twin Peaks is that it is basically a real place. Oh, there's no town called "Twin Peaks" in Washington state, because Lynch and Frost needed the liberty of using locations from wherever they happened to find them. But the main "town" of Twin Peaks is spread out over only about as much land as you'd probably guess from the show, stretching between the adjacent towns of Snoqualmie and North Bend, Washington. (There's even a scene in one of the first couple episodes where Mike tells Bobby he needs to drive to North Bend, so clearly Twin Peaks was meant to be set in the same area.)

Did you know that most of these locations are still there? In fact, many of them barely look any different than they do in the show. Some things have changed, but many locations are surprisingly well-preserved after a quarter century. I was finally able to visit them just last week, along with some of the famous locations in Poulsbo and Fall City, and my plan is to show them to you starting now.

There are other web sites out there that go in-depth with the many shooting locations of the show, both in Washington state and in California. (Only the pilot and prequel film were shot on location in Washington, with the series itself mainly shot on sets in California, using previously-shot footage from Washington for exterior establishing shots). I didn't visit every single location and I'm not going to go that in-depth. But many of those web sites are several years old - some almost a decade old! While they definitely helped me in finding some of these places, I want to show you how the locations I visited look today, in 2016, and how they may look (assuming some of them are used again) in the upcoming season of the show.

To start, and in keeping with the theme of this post, here's a look at the exact spot where the Welcome sign seen above used to sit:

A little more growth (and a tree or two cut down over time), but overall still looks pretty close, right?

This spot is not that difficult to find - believe it or not, it is actually searchable in Google Maps!

In reality, it's one of the many turnouts on the roads in this area, where cars can either park for scenic views or turn around. In fact, this spot is really impressive in real life, as many of the real-world locations are. Those mountains loom large - something that doesn't come across on a small TV screen. The real-world beauty of this entire area just can't be stressed enough, and it's obvious when visiting all of these locations why Lynch fell in love with Twin Peaks.

The sign spot is actually just down the road from Ronette Pulaski's bridge, which we found by chance on the way to this turnout. Watch for that in a later post!

I'll have more very soon.

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About This Blog

This is increasingly not a blog about Alphabet City, New York. I used to live in the East Village and work on Avenue B, but I no longer do. Why don't I change the name if I'm writing about Japan and video games and guitars? Because New Yorkers are well-rounded people with varied interests, and mine have gone increasingly off the rails over the years. And I don't feel like changing the name. I do still write about New York City sometimes.


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